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Precedents

April 19, 1995


The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. The explosion left 168 dead, including 19 children, and more than 500 injured.

Spurred by a deep mistrust of the federal government, Army vet Timothy McVeigh had worked for months to gather materials for a massive bomb fueled by more than 5,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitromethane racing fuel.

McVeigh det­onated the bomb in front of the Murrah building on the second anniversary of the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound. He was arrested 90 minutes after the blast on a routine traffic stop.

An accomplice, Terry Nichols, surrendered himself after hearing he was considered a suspect. He is now serving a life sentence for conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter. In June 2001, four years after his conviction, McVeigh became the first federal prisoner to be executed in 38 years.

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